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Sunday, March 29, 2009


I try to be very honest with other people—especially you, readers—but lying to myself is totally acceptable, and I do it well. I tell myself some whoppers, and I believe them, because I am just that skilled. Or stupid. Whichever.

One lie I am very good at telling myself is that I blog regularly. “I just did it!” I will say. “Look!” And I will point at the screen.

And someone will look and say, “Well, no, this is from two weeks ago . . .” And I will say, “Look . . . a SQUIRREL!” And then I’m gone. Out the door, out the window, if necessary.

I usually have perfectly good excuses for why I haven’t blogged. I have to write books and stories. That takes a lot of time. I have to read and answer a lot of e-mail, and have meetings with people, and return phone calls. I travel a lot, so I have to stand around in lots of lines. And read. And eat. And sleep. And, of course, there’s the Abba shrine to polish.

And before you know it, that blog I think I JUST WROTE is two weeks old.

But I have been reading your e-mails, comments, tweets, and Facebook messages, and it seems that many of you would like me to blog more. This is a wonderful thing for me, as it means YOU are reading. YOUR requests cannot go ignored. I am lucky to have readers such as you.

Your requests are very important.

Important or not, I still fall down on this particular job a lot.

So I was in the shower the other day, washing my hair (I have all my good ideas when I am washing my hair—maybe I have a button on my skull that I accidentally push that controls all the thinking) . . . anyway, I had this idea. “Why not blog every day in April?” I thought. “Even if it kills you? Why not make that the goal of April? Not killing yourself, but blogging every day.”

Such a simple idea. I’ve had thoughts like it before, but this time, it felt Right. After all, I just finished Scarlett Fever, and Suite Scarlett is about to come out in paperback on May 1st. So I saw a tangible goal for myself . . . blog every day until the official release of the paperback.

So I stuck this little thought of mine up on Twitter (I can Twitter every day just fine, because that only takes about 20 seconds). I told everyone I was getting ready for Blog Every Day April. I hadn’t realized that Blog Every Day April sounds like a real thing, like an organized event. I started getting replies back from people saying that they too wanted to do Bog Every Day April. I got a note from YouTube celebrity Alex Day saying that he was going to Vlog Every Day in April.

A few hours later, my little idea from the shower had an acronym: BEDA. (Or VEDA, if you are vloging.) People were asking for rules! So I am now giving the OFFICIAL rules, and the manifesto of the thing I just made up.


1. Blog every day in April.


I commit to this idea and am determined to create something EVERY DAY in April, including weekends. Every day, I will find something to say. I embrace the reality that there is always something to talk about, if you are willing to take the time to look for it.

I ___________________ promise to blog every day in April.


Q. What’s the point of blogging every day in April?

There’s always value to signing on to a project and seeing it through. But I think blogging every day in April has many potential benefits. If you want to be a writer, for example, this is a great idea . . . because you have to get used to the practice of writing every day, whether you think you can or not.

And I think April’s a good month for it. April is often a busy, crazy, transitional month. It’s when taxes are due (in America). It’s when school is just reaching its peak and people are just seeing the summer ahead. It’s when rain comes and flowers grow, and there’s candy, and it’s also only 30 days long! BONUS!

Q. Are there punishments if you mess up and don’t blog for a day?

I am not one for setting up punishments, because I believe that the punishments will administer themselves. At least in my case. If I mess up a day, LOTS OF PEOPLE WILL LET ME KNOW, and I will feel the tweak of failure. You can set up any punishment you like, if punishments help you! But I am a great believer in getting up again and trying the next day.

May I also suggest setting up ENCOURAGEMENTS? Here are a few ideas.

- Why not blog with a friend, or make a NEW FRIEND and read each other’s blogs every day?

- Why not promise yourself a small prize of some kind? A book, for example? (I could suggest a Suite Scarlett paperback, because the timing is excellent . . . but you see the idea here. Some small token of accomplishment.)

Q. I don’t have a blog! And if I set one up, no one would read it.


Yes, I saved a surprise for the end of this post!

I have opened a NEW BLOG SITE! On Ning! Which is just another type of blogging site, like this one, but with MANY COOL FEATURES!

For at least a few weeks or months, I’m going to post all my blogs on BOTH sites, just until enough people know it’s there, and I get all the kinks worked out, and get it hooked into my main wesbite . . . blah, blah, blah, technical stuff. So you can read BEDA here OR there. It will be the same blog!

But the difference is . . . on the other site, YOU CAN PARTICIPATE if you want! On the mj Ning blog, you can become a member (which takes about ten seconds and is free, easy, not an invasion of privacy, etc.) Here are just a few of the cool things:

- When you sign up, you can start your own blog there. You can also upload photos and videos!

- Members can friend other members . . . so you can easily find a blog buddy!

- There are forums to chat on. And there is a live chat at the bottom of the page going on at all times! I will occasionally pop on this chat—sometimes announced, sometimes unannounced!

So why NOT sign up? Why NOT join BEDA?

Anyway, I am doing it. I have sworn now. It’s official. Every day in April. Want to sign on? Have ideas? Let me know!

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Anonymous Rachy said...

I AM JOINING YOU. I have signed up for the Ning, and I will blog about BEDA later today, to see if I can get some more converts from my readers. xD

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Alan Lastufka said...

I, Famous Alan, promise to blog every day in April.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Mitali D said...

I am ready to do this despite the fact that I will be away for 3 days! :(
I will some how figure out a way to do it though!!
Yayyy for BEDA! :)

10:37 PM  
Blogger DoreMifa said...

yess! BEDA is a supersplendiferousverysmartandwise idea!! :) I'm in.

10:48 PM  
Blogger LaBelleRiviere said...

I, Regine Riviere, promise to blog everyday in April.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Rosalie Bass said...

You have convinced me! Next month, instead of blogging around four times, I will blog EVERY DAY. This will be so exciting!

Love you Maureen darling!

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, DreamingOfNothing, pledge to blog every day in April. Even if it involves usage of auto-post, because of jewish holidays and whatnot. That's not cheating, is it?

11:09 PM  
Blogger Khy said...

I, Khy, promise to blog every day in April.

I think my insanity will reach a new level in April.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Sarah Woodard said...

I, Sarah, pledge to blog every day in April... though I think this may cause a nervous breakdown. Also auto-post isn't cheating, right?

11:30 PM  
Blogger TJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can add me to the list of BEDA blog slaves. I even added a new batch of "self rules" to make it even more challenging. ;-)

12:01 AM  
Blogger TJ said...

I commit to this idea and am determined to create something EVERY DAY in April, including weekends. Every day, I will find something to say. I embrace the reality that there is always something to talk about, if you are willing to take the time to look for it.

I, TJ promise to blog every day in April.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

I, Emily, promise to blog every day in April. Even if it kills me.

12:45 AM  
Anonymous SarahE said...

Well. Since I have been told many times that my work ethic is somewhat overdeveloped, I am constantly on the look-out for new ways to procrastinate, in order to become a more normal member of society. Writing things down because I have sworn an oath to do so seems like a good way to do this. Therefore, I, Sarah, promise to blog everyday in April. This does feel very binding somehow...should I sign this in my own blood somewhere? It feels like a reasonable thing to do.

Also, I have Ideas for you, mj. I was thinking you could do specific topics on certain days, like Abba Sunday or something. I don't suggest this just because I have been listening to Fernando for about twenty minutes now, either. Really.

Good luck in BEDA, everyone!

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, Julia, promise to blog every day in April.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, Miss Print, promise to blog every day in April.

2:10 AM  
Blogger StevietheGreat05 said...

I will effectively manage to blog every day, write 100 pages of Script for Scripped.com/Script Frenzy, and pass all of my classes. Maybe I'll make vlogs too. Overachiever, thy name is Stevie.

2:27 AM  
Blogger Faith said...

I'm going to attempt this... keyword being attempt...

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm doing both BEDA and VEDA.

BEDA: http://www.outofthedark.livejournal.com

VEDA: http://www.youtube.com/outofthedark

4:08 AM  
Blogger Nadia Murti said...

I'm joining BEDA!!! (Please read my blog!)

Can't wait 'til April, MJ!!!


5:04 AM  
Blogger EmmaTheJane said...

Uh this whole BEDA thing is cool and all but I am still stuck waiting with bated breath for what happens when you pushed the random button on the phone in the hotel... pretty much have put my life on hold until I find out. I'm totally not blogging again until you tell me.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Idea 1: have a blog of the day. most read, your favorite, whatevs select a few and post them on the front PAGE!!! That would be cool!

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Summer said...

I, Summer, promise to read a blog every day in April.

yay I made up my own thing!

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read about this from another blog and I want to join too..!! XD

I, me, promise to write ramblings and stuff happening around me everyday in April..

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, Emanuel, promise to blog every day in April.

Glad I'm not making this promise as a busy father with an 8-year-old son who has an upcoming baseball game...

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, Katlin Seagraves, promise to blog every day in April.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I, Ashley, promise to blog every day in April. And get a 90 in my Business Law class so that I don't have to take the exam. But mostly blog.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous CLPTeensburgh said...

I'm having to adjust the manifesto a bit, but here you are:

We, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh teen specialists, promise to blog every weekday in April.


12:39 AM  
Blogger Anna Nymity said...

I, Lydia (AKA AnnaNymity), promise to blog every day in April.


1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I, Blaze, promise to blog EVERY DAY in April.

3:18 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I, crazy insane in the brain P, promise to blog everyday in April.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, Cassie, will blog everyday in April!

9:21 PM  
Blogger Sugar Plum Fairy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Sugar Plum Fairy said...

I, Bridget, am getting a C+ in Geometry and sadly can not participate in this. I will join when my grades improve, though. Notice the "will" and "when", instead of "may" and "if". I am a determined individual. Wish me luck!

1:58 AM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

I'm in with Bildungsroman. How can I not be, with Cary Grant pictured there?

4:03 AM  
Blogger Josephine Marie said...

woot woot! im pumped :) tis gonna be awesome.

4:11 AM  
Blogger jlshall said...

This is such a cute idea. It's not an April Fool's joke, is it? I might play along, but I better not swear to anything. Just put up my first post, though, so I'm on my way!

7:00 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Cool idea, Maureen! I'm joining you. :)

8:08 PM  
Blogger YAthenaeum said...

I, the YAthenaeum Team, promise to blog every day in April.

This should be fun! :D

12:04 AM  
Blogger Boyett-Brinkley said...

Ok, I promise to blog every day in April. I am not, however, promising that they will be good, interesting, thought provoking or even remotely logical. I will try to provide pictures -- that is always pretty interesting.

1:57 AM  
Blogger Sally HP said...

I'm in!

3:52 PM  
Blogger Erika Powell said...

I am totally in!

also an idea for a post for you if I may...a post with a full list of participants and links to their blogs so there is one stop shopping to encourage everyone! just an idea.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, CC, promise to blog every day in April. This shall be very very interesting indeed...

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Melissa, promise to blog every day in April. :D Yikes!

8:05 AM  
Blogger MPL Tweens said...

Love it! Count me in!

8:39 PM  
Blogger Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Absolutely, I will BEDA!

7:13 AM  

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